With a new-look defense and a high-powered veteran offense, the Princeton University men's lacrosse team will look to defend their 2012 regular season Ivy League title when it opens its season at Hofstra on Saturday.
The class of 2012 was one of the best in Princeton history, especially on the defensive end. With the graduation of Tyler Fiorito, Chad Wiedmaier, John Cunningham and Jonathan Meyers, a new-look Princeton defense will be tested early and often during a challenging 2013 schedule.
In addition to the losses due to graduation, defensive starter Rob Castelo will also miss all of the 2013 season with a leg injury. This leaves many questions to be answered as defensive coach Greg Raymond looks to revamp and reload his squad. With the losses of all of these players, the Tigers saw 11 All-American selections and 13 All-Ivy selections walk away from the playing field.
With the graduation of Tyler Fiorito, one of the biggest positions to fill will be in between the pipes. Goaltending has always been a strong suit for the Tigers, who will see if Eric Sanschagrin, Brian Kavanagh or Matt O'Connor will be entrusted to continue the excellence at that position. Kavanagh and Sanschagrin are letter-winners for Princeton, as O'Connor is the only fresh face coming out of the nearby Lawrenceville School in central New Jersey.
On the other side of the ball, a locked and loaded offense will lean on a high-powered midfield and attack to provide support for a young and evolving defense. Junior captain Tom Schreiber proved to be a Tewaaraton contender after reaching the 60-point plateau in 2012. His ability to dodge and shoot on the run makes coverage a tall task for any opponent.
Jeff Froccaro, Mike MacDonald, Tucker Shanley and Forest Sonnenfeldt will also provide options on an offense that should put up 10 or more goals a game on a regular basis.
Much attention has been given to freshman Jake Froccaro (Jeff's brother), who brings a unique offensive skill set and the ability to win faceoffs as well.
With much of the Division I landscape already in season, the Ivy League teams get a late start as the schedule begins this weekend.